CALLING ALL AGENTS
When they come unexpected,
love and letters unsettle
as if to blow penciled hues
that prick the pupils of one
who scans a dying horizon
for wooden branches of floral text.
Hold out the web of your impulse;
turn what stands before you to Braille.
A built-in face would never last
the length of the imprisoned’s recipe—
though every striptease proves
the paper’s palpitations never-ending.
Canned matter is the newest hype
that we can miss the silence without,
so acutely put pin to word
& begin exhuming the body.
A branch overhead rattles
its one death’s leaf,
and we label the wind
an instrument to grief.
Love letters, spelling meter, insist
a figure stands by the forest’s edge,
dusk-lit with glowing orb–perhaps
a cigarette—until in the stare too long
a peacock grows
from budding tendrils
that preen and nest in the folds
of wholesome damage, your eyelets.
It is a bird’s eye view that sees you
lying in the open spine,
flat & abridged,
a crisis that brings you to this:
rising to blindness as witness,
the embryo of what’s already come
delivers the map for a return visit.
Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and is co-editing with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edited the anthology Bettering American Poetry 2015 and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.